Recently, Cytonn issued a press statement saying that most of its projects are complete and sold out. However, a look into the projects shows that most of the projects have stalled for more than two years, with investors pulling out after smelling fishy deals. In fact, only one project has been completed by the overambitious Cytonn. Today, we look at the projects, one by one and uncover the lies behind the PR statement by Cytonn CEO Edwin Dande.
“The assertion that most of the projects are just on paper and will never kick off is inaccurate. The 10 real estate development projects are each at different stages of the development cycle, which begins all the way from research and land origination, to construction, and finally to sales and facilities management,” read the statement from Cytonn, in part.
Most of the sales they’re reporting are mere reservations of Ksh25,000 for units priced at over Ksh40 million. Here is a one-by-one analysis of the projects they claim are doing ‘well’:-
The company claims that the project is 64% complete and have promised, many clients that the project will be ready by March 2019. With surety, this is no practical given the exodus of Project Managers and other staff supporting the project. Also, the financing aspect is unclear as it’s greatly dependent on the clients’ investments in the company.
On sales, the percentage has stagnated at 55% for the past two freaking years. Even for the sake of PR they should even adjust it to 56%, at least. That aside, they claim that no client is forfeiting due to the overpricing and delayed projects (let that be addressed on the case of The Ridge)
The project was broken ground back in March 2017 and to date, there is nothing to show at site. Several clients have withdrawn their interest in the project (over half of the ones who had booked with Ksh25,000). Another class of clients have also withdrawn once they come into terms of the overpricing in play after making comparison with like projects in more posh areas such as Kilimani. Did I mention that the blocks are going up to 10th floor on a swampy ground! How bad can profit-making get? They don’t give a damn about clients nor staff.
Take note of the contradictory statement that the Ksh2 billion they received is to be invested in the Ridge only for them to change that to The Alma, confusing, right?
This is an interesting one. The project has 10 units (which are yet to be complete contrary to their claims). In fact the set completion date was February 2017 but one and half years later, we are here. Back to the point, only three units have been sold since. Three belong to the land owner (a very powerful figure in the country, name withheld), one has been bought by the CEO (Dande). Some drug lords own two of the units (names withheld). The last unit is owned by a Sudanese Lual Atak, who is swindling donations moneys in Sudan.
This project is not owned by the company. The project was initially dubbed Illuwe (See Here) and investors lost investments like crazy. Cytonn, in its masquerading nature as a big brand was given rights over the project by the owners to help them make use of the land, which is quite remote, to say the least.
They have been refunding previous owners of the land, using clients’ money and it is just that, a white elephant.
Key to note is the bad investments they have made since they started, they lost over Ksh100 million in a site and service deal in Ongata rongai where they had promised clients to sell serviced plots and had to refund them after an uproar.
Cavinna School is on their case and instead of facing issues head-on, the CEO engages in abuses with the Kilimani Resident Association (who are raising genuine concerns). It is as if the CEO doubles up as the PR & Communications Assistant. This is going to end just like Situ Village that has stalled for over 2-years.
For this one, the land has issues since the owner did not want anything to do with Cytonn given the aggressive profit-making strategies they employ. As such, they went around it by using a third party (their lawyer Oraro and Company Advocates) to buy the land. Once the landowner learnt of this, he halted the deal and that’s where things are stuck but are conniving to bribe their way out of it.
Next, we shall be handling how the firm is robbing Peter to pay Paul, their ‘holistic’ business and how they are using names of other business entities to justify their failure.
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